A master’s personal statement is a bit different from an undergraduate personal statement. While the particulars may change, the basics remain the same.
Individuals have to apply directly to each university they are interested in instead of applying through the UCAS website.
This mostly holds advantages of not having to pay a fee for applying, but it does mean that you have to spend more time on each application and your master’s personal statement, as well as the master’s application personal statement.
If at any point a word or phrase jumps out at you in this article for that you’re unfamiliar with, check out our university terms glossary and learn the definition right there!
Or alternatively, if you're writing your personal statement for a master’s, look at our personal statement examples and see if there is a master’s personal statement example that inspires you!
How to write a master’s personal statement
When it comes to writing a master’s personal statement, the principles are the same for this as they are for every other personal statement, but the specifics of the level of study will obviously change.
A personal statement for s master’s degree should focus on the things that you have learned at undergraduate level and should speak about your passion for the subject that you're studying. When it comes to writing a personal statement for master’s, you should also reference whatever experience you have in these areas as well.
When writing a master’s degree personal statement, make sure you are positive. Try and avoid negativities when speaking about your passion for the subject and the course you're applying for, which you can find in any master’s personal statement examples.
If it was an extraordinary event or project, or relates to something from your undergraduate degree that you do want to discuss then you can make it relevant.
Applying to individual universities
Even though it will take up more time to apply individually for each course, it does offer several advantages. Firstly, you will be able to adjust your personal statement and application to cater for that institution. It will increase your chances of receiving an offer over having to write one sole statement and application for several universities.
It also will ensure that you only apply to universities and degree courses that you have given serious thought to, as you wouldn’t want to waste hours applying for something you are not completely sure about.
Undergraduate personal statements
The undergraduate personal statement will feature heavily on their studies up to further education level – mostly secondary school and sixth form or college. Students may also discuss their passions and why they find the subject interesting. Individuals at this level are limited as they haven’t truly expanded their knowledge within a subject or studied key themes, for instance, Law.
You won't need necessarily need to do that with personal statement master’s.
Postgraduate study requires more pizazz
When writing a personal statement for a master’s, it’s worth remembering that most postgraduate applications will be directly looked over by course leaders or lecturers from that course. The difference in the number of student admissions between undergraduate and postgraduate is tenfold.
Postgraduate courses will have smaller classes, with some only featuring a handful of students and this is normal. But that can also translate to harder competition. There is a smaller number of available spaces, and even though fewer people apply, you still need to ensure your application stands out to receive an offer.
Draw from your undergraduate degree
When it comes to writing the personal statement for your UCAS application, it is vital that you mostly draw from your undergraduate degree experience – and not anything previous unless it is completely relevant to do so. Universities won’t be interested in a project you completed during GCSE or A Level because that will indicate that it occurred several years ago, and imply you haven’t completed anything worth mentioning since.
If it was an extraordinary event or project, or relates to something from your undergraduate degree that you do want to discuss then you can make it relevant. However, do try to avoid talking about irrelevant parts of previous education when applying for a postgraduate degree course.
There are several different areas regarding your undergraduate degree that you can discuss throughout your personal statement. You can talk about different projects and individual assignments that you either found easy, hard, interesting or eye-opening or any that are related to modules listed in the postgraduate course.
Extra-curricular activities are more important
During the three years at an undergraduate level, individuals would have become involved with societies, movements, marches, projects and extracurricular activities. Maybe you created a new society? Or maybe you attended regular talks set up by your university?
If this is the case then do discuss this within your masters personal statement, this will show course leaders that you have expanded your mind and activities through a number of ways. It displays a passion for the subject and for learning that you can’t gain from a textbook or a journal article.
When it comes to writing a personal statement for master’s, you should also reference whatever experience you have in these areas as well.
Career aspirations are ever more prudent for a master’s personal statement. Studying a Postgraduate Diploma, Certificate of Higher Education, Diploma of Higher Education, other certificates or Master’s degree course are not necessary for every job and career out there, but they tend to be studied to improve job prospects even further. Discussing future plans will show that you take this degree seriously – and not just avoiding the fact that you have to be an adult and get a job.
Universities respect postgraduate students and their decisions, and this means that if you want to study that course due to a keen interest, career aspiration or as a stepping stone to another qualification, then you should state the reason.
Read the prospectus
Candidates should also spend time reading through the course specifications, how it is assessed, how long it is and what modules are included. At postgraduate level, it is extremely important that you are studying the right course.
Research modules and assessments
Discussing the modules and specialist areas that the postgraduate degree course offers shows admission tutors that you have researched this degree and feel sure of your decision.
The majority of postgraduate degree applicants do take their studies seriously and find that they enhance their employment prospects as well as specialise in an area that they are incredibly passionate about. The skills of writing and structuring a piece of text that you learned throughout your undergraduate degree course will only help you write an amazing personal statement for your application.
When writing your personal statement, there are plenty of master’s personal statement examples to help you to gain inspiration, which will keep you more in tune with what you’re doing and will track what you’re doing well. If you look at an example of a personal statement for a master’s, remember not to plagiarise.